Aaahhhh…. first days of being a mother. Feeling so blessed, adrenaline still rushing down your body not letting you sleep but only making you stare at that little wonder that is your baby, adjusting to your new world, smiling day and night like you got no worry in the world. Such amazing times. Breastfeeding, sleepless nights, little cries, tiny hands and feet, a chipmunk completely dependent on you, swollen feet, efforts to fit in old trousers or shoes – those first days when none of these upset you were bliss.
Then comes that time when your body shuts down. You function on coffee or God knows what, realise that two hours of sleep are enough to keep you going for another twenty four. I remember that I thought nothing can be worse. I cried tears of frustration praying it will all get at least a tiny bit easier. Everyone out there told me stories about how their little ones slept through the night, how they never had to adjust their lives around the baby but the other way around, how they go out like before and sometimes they don’t even feel like they have a baby – that is how easy they told me it is. I was on my own. No mother, auntie, sister or friend to help, nobody to babysit from time to time at least for an hour so I can get away and recharge my batteries. Me, myself and I figuring out what that tiny creature needs, eliminating point by point everything until I got to whatever it was she wanted – less or more clothes, milk, sleep, be changed, move her or just a cuddle.
Thing is, slowly but surly I got to create some sort of a routine that helped both of us. She loved sleeping outside so I was going in the park, push myself back and forth in the swing and read a book, taking in the sun and enjoying a bit of peace and quiet. Once back home she would wake up – I swear she had an alarm or something as we never passed the front door without her waking up – she would have some milk, tummy time and lots and lots of cuddles until it was bath time and finally sleep again. She hasn’t slept through the night back then. Not at all but after bath she would go for about three hours and that was my rest time. I would fall asleep before I hit the pillow and open my eyes after what only felt like a minute but I knew what she wanted, how to get her back to sleep and calm her down so our routine worked quite well. I was dead tired but I was fine.
Time flew and somehow Ruby turned one. She is crawling around the house all day long, sleeps less and less during the day and started walking around the furniture and pulling herself up at all times. She is a curious child so everything she finds goes in her mouth to be chewed and tested. She is trying to walk so she is bound to hurt herself falling anytime.
Now, I find this time now harder than when she was a baby. Back then I trained her into a routine and we were proper functioning like that. Now try and tell her she is not allowed somewhere or to eat something and the world will collapse. She is trying little tantrums and I make huge efforts to ignore them, by the time it gets to nine o’clock every morning I am already exhausted and feel like I have been awake for a week. My entire attention goes on her. “Don’t sit in front of the TV like that” “Get away from there” ” No Ruby. Don’t eat that” “No baby. We are not allowed to throw stuff in the flower pot” “Please sit” “Ruby, please come here.” ” God, don’t tell me you just put that hair clip in your mouth. Give it to me. Go on. Give it to mummy baby” “You sleepy? Good girl. Let’s go sleep mommy.” “No, it’s not play time. We sleep now” “Get away from the oven” “Leave the bath toys in the bath” “Don’t touch that” “Ruby, please leave the remote” “You just made such a mess Stop it”
List goes on and on all day long. I need to be careful so she won’t spill everything on the table, knock down everything around her or bang her head against every corner of the house.
She makes a proper mess and I look around helpless. I already know I will be busy once she goes for a nap. She takes out all DVD collection so she can go inside the cupboard – watch me arranging them three times every day – she plays around the oven as she loves touching the buttons, she takes out all letters and numbers from her puzzle play mat and spreads them around, holds herself against chairs and unsafe boxes and laughs in my face every time I try to tell her off.
She does sleep through the night but her energy level during the day gets me so exhausted that sometimes I think it was easier to give birth to her than keep up with her every single day.
Having a one year old is so hard. She is into solid food now, eating almost everything I give her and it’s a good thing but in the same time watch me clean my cream carpet with vanish and brush twice a week trying to get the spaghetti, mash, tomato sauce or whatever stains out and feel my OCD raising.
Having a one year old is so much more difficult than have a little baby. The only moments I do breath are when she watches Sponge Bob and those are limited as I don’t let her watch TV that much. Thank God for Sponge Bob though so I can have my coffee in peace first thing in the morning. But even so the peace gets interrupted by my cheeky monkey trying to talk to the little square dude from in front of the television. And I pick her up, move her back, away from the TV, explain she shouldn’t be there in the first place, take my seat back on the sofa and start it all again.
And by the way, why should I sleep past 6:30 am? I am not allowed. I am being woken up by a crying baby. I pick her up and I swear that the next second she is fast asleep in my arms. I stare at the sky and ask “Why?” I guess she loves mummy cuddles as she can go like this for another couple of hours while I push the hair out of her face, whisper how much I love her, kiss her forehead and tiny arms and pray to God I can fall asleep in such a weird position on my sofa.
The list can go on and on for as long as you want but it will always have me saying: “Ruby, no. That is not nice” ” No Ruby, don’t eat that. We eat food not paper” “Stop doing that. You will hurt yourself” “God give me strength. How did you get in there?”
And the lovely moments when she screams in pain as she is teething, she has temperature or a blocked nose and only mummy can fix these. With a million cuddles and kisses as she’ll only want to be in my arms winging. And no, she doesn’t think my back hurts so much I can barely stand sometimes. She wants mummy and mummy is there. I remember when she was tiny. Good days. Now she is so heavy 😳 and demanding and spoiled. But she is mine and I wouldn’t change her for the world. I just need someone to tell me it gets easier one day.